Story: Building materials

Portland cement works, Warkworth, 1880

Portland cement works, Warkworth, 1880

Cement was first produced near Warkworth, and in the 1850s was used in the Queen Street sewer and other Auckland construction projects. But it was not until manufacturers could produce high-quality cement (known as Portland cement) in 1865 that they could compete with imports. Cement is a finely ground, grey mineral powder made of two main materials, lime and clay. When water is added it acts as glue, and when mixed with sand and aggregate it forms concrete – the most widely used construction material in the world. The cement was shipped to Auckland from a wharf on the Mahurangi River.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Price Collection
Reference: 1/2-000596-G
Photograph by William Archer Price

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jeremy Salmond, 'Building materials - Stone, bricks and mortar', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 June 2024)

Story by Jeremy Salmond, published 11 Mar 2010